Measuring Our Progress

We have identified a number of key performance indicators to measure value creation, quantify our social impact and benchmark customer service.

We have set testing medium-term targets. We aim to satisfy our
four key stakeholders – customers, employees, shareholders and the environment – because we believe that this is the way to create sustainable value.

Strategy and Key Performance Indicators

  • To delight our customers
  • To realise the potential of our people 
  • To double the size and profitability of the business
  • To lead the way in sustainability

To delight our customers

On-time, in-full delivery (OTIF)

Definition Proportion of orders fulfilled on-time, in-full, across all businesses.
Why is it a KPI?     This measures our commitment to high standards of service to customers. It is part of our aim to provide “more than a box”.

Service levels have remained below our target level following the significant acquisitions this year. It continues to be an area of high focus with good improvement expected next year.

To realise the potential of our people 

Accident Frequency Rate (AFR)

Definition  The number of lost-time accidents (LTAs) per million hours worked.
Why is it a KPI? 

Safety is our highest priority and we believe that zero accidents is an achievable goal. We aim to provide employees with safe, productive and rewarding workplace. 


We are delighted to have achieved a further 24 per cent reduction in AFR. We have also reduced our number of LTAs by 14 per cent in absolute numbers, despite an 11 per cent increase in hours worked. 211 sites achieved our target of no LTAs in the year. We continue to strive to achieve this across the whole Group.

To double the size and profitability of the business

Like-for-like corrugated volume growth

........ Weighted GDP +1% target


Like-for-like volume of corrugated box products sold (excluding the effect of
acquisitions and disposals) measured by area.

 Why is it a KPI ? 

We target volume growth above GDP because we expect to win market share by delivering value to our customers across their supply chain throughout Europe.


We are pleased to have delivered box volume growth of 3.1 per cent, outperforming our target and the market. This has been achieved by growth in all our
reporting regions.

 Return on sales 


Defintion  Earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and exceptional items as a percentage of revenue.
Why is it a KPI? 

The margin we achieve is a reflection of the value we deliver to our customers and our ability to charge for that value. It is also driven by our scale. A higher margin makes the profit more robust to adverse events. 


The business has achieved margin growth of 50 bps resulting in a margin in the upper
half of the target range. The target range was increased at the start of the 2015/16 financial year to reflect progress made,
having previously been 7-9 per cent.

Return on average capital employed (ROACE)


Earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and exceptional items as a percentage of average capital employed, including goodwill, over the 12 month period.

Why is it a KPI?

Our target of 12–15 per cent, to be delivered throughout the economic cycle, is above our cost of capital. ROACE is a key measure of financial success and sustainability of returns. ROACE also reflects the returns available for investment in the business and servicing debt and equity. All investments and acquisition opportunities are assessed with reference to this target.


We have delivered further improvement on ROACE to 15.4 per cent, reflecting both the growth in profitability and an ongoing disciplined approach to capital shown in the continued reduction in our working capital.

 Net debt/EBITDA


Net debt calculated at average FX rates for the year, over earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items for the preceding 12 month period.

Why is it a KPI? Net debt/EBITDA is a key measure of balance sheet strength and financial stability.

The increase in Group leverage is due primarily to acquisitions in the year of £433 million, partially offset by cash flow generated in the year.

Cash conversion 


Free cash flow before tax, net interest, growth capex, pension payments and exceptional cash flows as a percentage of earnings before interest, tax, amortisation
and exceptional items.

Why is it a KPI?

We focus on cash conversion as part of our focus on capital management. The target of 100 per cent conversion was set at the start of 2015/16 financial year, reflecting the significant reduction in working capital over prior years. The Board believes 100 per cent to be a sustainable level.


Cash conversion has remained in line with the target.

To lead the way in sustainability

CO2 equivalent emissions


Total CO2 equivalent (CO2e ) emissions per tonne of production.

Why is it a KPI?

We actively play our part in the drive to reduce CO2e emissions though investment in energy and material efficiency programmes.


CO2 e emissions relative to production have reduced by 8.1 per cent this year, reflecting a change in business mix. We are pleased that 91 sites have improved their scope 2 CO2e.